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CAT | Convention Against Torture

CAT | Convention Against Torture

Serving San Antonio, Austin and McAllen, Texas

What is the Convention Against Torture?

Also known simply as “CAT,” the Convention Against Torture is a United Nations agreement that prevents signatory countries from knowingly perpetuating, promoting or encouraging torture. It also prevents signatory countries from subjecting their charges to torture. The Convention Against Torture applies to prisoners and visa-holders who have been subject to removal. As a signatory country, the United States cannot legally transfer any individuals under its jurisdiction into the custody of a foreign state that openly engages in torture.

How Is Torture Defined?

Although “torture” may be a subjective term, it is strictly defined by the Convention Against Torture. In order for an act to be defined as torture, it must meet certain standards. For starters, it must be an intentional act that inflicts serious pain or discomfort for a sustained period of time. Further, it must be officially sanctioned by an authority figure in an extra-legal manner. It must be perpetrated on an individual who is imprisoned or otherwise in custody. Finally, it must be perpetrated for “wrongful purposes” like the forced extraction of a confession or valuable secrets. If an act does not meet all of these criteria, it cannot be defined as “torture” under the terms of the Convention Against Torture. Schedule a consultation with the Gutierrez Law Firm to learn how a CAT lawyer can stop removal proceedings for a client.

CAT and Removal Proceedings

Foreign nationals cannot apply for CAT protections outside of the removal process. However, individuals who face removal are free to cite CAT as evidence that they should remain in the United States. There are three parties that are authorized to grant this form of immigration relief:

  • Federal courts
  • Board of Immigration Appeals members
  • Qualified immigration judges

Individuals who apply for CAT relief must prove that they are likely to be tortured in the custody of their home country’s government. During the CAT appeals process, those who apply for relief may not travel outside of the United States or apply for a permanent resident visa. It is important to note that an individual who successfully secures a “withholding” or “deferral” of removal may still be imprisoned or barred from seeking employment within the United States. To learn how to cease removal proceedings, speak with an immigration lawyer who has a clear understanding of CAT.

How We Can Help

At the Gutierrez Law Firm, we believe in the natural dignity and human rights of each of our clients. We are committed to doing everything in our power to alleviate the concerns of lawful U.S. residents and visa-holding foreign nationals who would be at risk of torture in their home countries. With nearly a quarter-century of experience in the business of immigration law, we have fought successfully for the rights of individuals from over 20 countries. Our knowledgeable CAT attorneys can use the full force of the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture statute to protect our clients’ health and safety.

To learn more about fighting removal under the auspices of the Convention Against Torture, call the Gutierrez Law Firm at 210.225.7114 and seek advice from one of our expert CAT lawyers.